Enhancing Kidney Transplantation and the Role of Xenografts: Report of a Scientific Workshop Sponsored by the National Kidney Foundation

Am J Kidney Dis. 2024 Jul;84(1):94-101. doi: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2023.12.025. Epub 2024 Mar 5.


Chronic kidney disease affects an estimated 37 million people in the United States; of these,>800,000 have end-stage renal disease requiring chronic dialysis or a kidney transplant to survive. Despite efforts to increase the donor kidney supply, approximately 100,000 people are registered on the kidney transplant wait-list with no measurable decrease over the past 2 decades. The outcomes of kidney transplantation are significantly better than for chronic dialysis: kidney transplant recipients have lower rates of mortality and cardiovascular events and better quality of life, but wait-list time matters. Time on dialysis waiting for a deceased-donor kidney is a strong independent risk factor for outcomes after a kidney transplant. Deceased-donor recipients with wait-list times on dialysis of<6 months have graft survival rates equivalent to living-donor recipients with waitlist times on dialysis of>2 years. In 2021,>12,000 people had been on the kidney transplant waitlist for ≥5 years. As the gap between the demand for and availability of donor kidneys for allotransplantation continues to widen, alternative strategies are needed to provide a stable, sufficient, and timely supply. A strategy that is gaining momentum toward clinical application is pig-to-human kidney xenotransplantation. This report summarizes the proceedings of a meeting convened on April 11-12, 2022, by the National Kidney Foundation to review and assess the state of pig-to-human kidney xenotransplantation as a potential cure for end-stage renal disease.

Keywords: Donor kidneys; end-stage kidney disease; xenotransplantation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Foundations
  • Graft Survival
  • Heterografts
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic* / surgery
  • Kidney Transplantation*
  • Transplantation, Heterologous
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Waiting Lists